Intraoperative objective evaluation of venous congestion in deep epigastric artery perforator flap breast reconstruction: A pilot study

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Abstract

Background

In a deep epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction, the necessity of additional anastomosis of the superficial inferior epigastric vein (SIEV) should be determined intraoperatively. The purpose of this pilot study is to propose a method to detect venous congestion intraoperatively using the blood glucose measurement index (BGMI).

Methods

In 70 DIEP flaps of 67 patients for breast reconstruction, the ratio of blood glucose content in the flap to systemic blood glucose (BGMI) was measured immediately after wound closure. Eight flaps in which BGMI was less than 0.8 were categorized into the low BGMI group, and additional venous anastomosis using SIEV was conducted. The other 62 flaps were categorized into the normal BGMI group. Perioperative objective color difference of the flap calculated using the L*a*b* color coordinate scale was recorded simultaneously. Correlation between BGMI and color difference was analyzed.

Results

In all flaps in the low BGMI group, SIEV diameter was increased; after additional anastomosis, the BGMI significantly improved (from 0.71 ± 0.05 to 0.94 ± 0.05, P < .01). There was a significant correlation between BGMI and color difference (P = .04). The determination coefficient was 0.265. When a BGMI of less than 0.8 was assumed to be a true positive, the area under the curve of color difference in the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.82.

Conclusion

BGMI immediately after wound closure may be useful to detect initial signs of venous congestion. Intraoperative objective color difference also reflects venous congestion; however, it is not highly accurate.

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